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U.S. scientists identify three genes linked with migraine

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Laaska News  June 12,2011
LOS ANGELES, June 12 (Xinhua) — U.S. researchers have found an association between three gene variants and migraine, a move that may help scientists better understand the cause of migraine.

Inheriting any one of the three gene variants raises risk for severe headaches by 10 to 15 percent, the researchers reported in a study appearing in the June 12 online edition of the journal Nature Genetics.

The three genes are TRPM8, LRP1 and PRDM16. The first plays a role in sensitivity to cold and pain, while the second is involved in the transmission of signals between neurons.

“While migraine remains incompletely understood and its underlying causes difficult to pin down, identifying these three genetic variants helps shed light on the biological roots for this common and debilitating condition,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Daniel Chasman, assistant professor in the preventive medicine division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said in a hospital news release.

The researchers based their findings on analysis of genetic data from more than 23,000 women, including over 5,000 migraine sufferers.

Although the study authors said the findings are encouraging, they noted that more research is needed to better understand exactly how each of these three genes is associated with migraine.

Migraine headache, an abnormality in the response of nerve cells to stimuli, is characterized by recurring severe headaches, which often result in nausea as well as sensitivity to light and sound.

Laaska News.